The Best Hole-in-the-Wall Diner in Every State

Hole-in-the-Wall Diners


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Hole-in-the-Wall Diners

Diners Done Right

Bored with chain restaurants? Tired of overpaying for fussy food when all you really want is something simple at a fair price? There are a ton of great local joints serving cheap, tasty eats, but if you're not careful, you might drive right past them. We scoured the country and checked reviews on sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor as well as rankings by expert food writers for some of the best hole-in-the-wall diners, all of them longtime favorites with even longer lists of regulars. Here are the top picks in all 50 states. 

Related: Best Hole-in-the-Wall Burger Joint in Every State

Big Time Diner in Mobile, Alabama

Alabama: Big Time Diner

4936 Cottage Hill Rd.

Mobile, Ala.

What people say: You can't beat the blue-plate specials — your choice of meat and three sides — at this unassuming diner with its retro clock sign. The service also wins raves from diners in reviews.

Where it's at: A quiet neighborhood filled with many single-family homes, Mobile's Greenwich Hills is located about 20 minutes from downtown. Yelp reviewers note that while the location is easy to find, parking can be difficult due to the diner's popularity.
What to order: Southern classics such as the fried fish and turnip greens. Got a sweet tooth? Finish off your meal with a classic banana split.

Related: Best Brunch in Every State

Duncan House Diner in Homer, Alaska
Jeannette G./Yelp

Alaska: Duncan House Diner

125 E Pioneer Ave.

Homer, Alaska

What people say: There's no question you're in Alaska when you get a glimpse of this diner with its traditional totem pole out front. There is also nostalgic, retro decor along with a breakfast and lunch menu packed with diner favorites.

Where it's at: Located on Kachemak Bay, there is plenty to do near Duncan House, including shopping, art galleries, museums, and beaches. Homer is known for its cheerful hospitality and artsy downtown. 
What to order: When in Alaska, do as the locals do and order the reindeer sausage. Reviewers also recommend the French toast.

Related: Restaurants for Wild Game Across America

Mr. D'z Route 66 Diner

Arizona: Mr D’z Route 66 Diner

105 E Andy Devine Ave.

Kingman, Ariz.

What People Say: Stop into this retro diner (a popular landmark on Route 66) to enjoy homemade root beer floats and juicy burgers amidst lovely '50s decor and memorabilia. Brightly colored neon exteriors invite you in to enjoy thick milkshakes and root beer floats topped with homemade ice cream.

Where it's at: Located in northwest Arizona, Kingman is largely known for its location along Route 66. It's filled with historic landmarks and surrounded by natural beauty that presents plenty of opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.

What to Order: Diners say you can't go wrong with its assortment of burgers. They range from a Hawaiian Teriyaki burger to a Jalapeno Pepper burger and the suitable-for-sharing Monster Burger meal said to tip the scales at 4 pounds with fries.

Related: Route 66: Then and Now

The Root Cafe-Little Rock, Ark.

Arkansas: The Root Cafe

1500 Main St.

Little Rock, Ark.

What people say: Leave aside that this eatery was visited by Guy Fieri, or that the photo on its website is so warm and welcoming. Google reviewers give Root Cafe upward of 4.5 stars and use terms like "consistently excellent" and "adorable gem" to describe it. Throw in that the eatery sources the majority of its ingredients locally, and it's a must-stop for locals and travelers alike. 

Where it's at: One of the better-known towns in The Natural State, Little Rock has a lot to offer. That includes the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, gorgeous riverfront destinations, and the family-friendly Museum of Discovery. 

What to order: Diners rave about the burgers and veggie dishes here, so you can't go wrong. But whatever you order, give the Fidel coffee a go, and keep in mind that you can also get a mimosa or Bloody Mary, too. 

Nat's Early Bite
Amanda C./Yelp

California: Nat's Early Bite

14115 Burbank Blvd.

Sherman Oaks, Calif.

What people say: Nat's Early Bite has been around for more than three decades and even spawned a second Woodland Hills location. Fans line up for more than a half-hour to grab brunch on the weekends at this beloved local favorite.

Where it's at: Sherman Oaks is a 30-minute drive from downtown Los Angeles. Diners who want to walk off their meal can head to one of the many parks that lie between Venture Freeway and Mulholland Drive. 

What to order: The breakfast burrito gets raves, as do the omelets and scrambles. Hotcakes are another favorite.

King's Chef Diner
Delphine E./Yelp

Colorado: King's Chef Diner

131 E Bijou St.

Colorado Springs, Colo.

What people say: Whether you're ordering an omelet, a breakfast burrito, or something different, chances are it comes topped with green chili at this pint-size, purple-turreted castle — and fans love it.

Where it's at: Just a hop and a skip down the road from Denver, Colorado Springs is an outdoor-lover's paradise known for the 1,300-acre Garden of the Gods and nearby Pike's Peak. King's Chef is located firmly in the city's downtown. 

What to order: While the steak and eggs is impressive, for really big appetites there's the Thing — bacon, sausage, or ham, a layer of hash browns, and two eggs on Texas toast, topped with cheese and green chili. Eat all of your meal and get a Clean Plate sticker plus a piece of candy.

Related: The Best Prime Rib Specials in All 50 States

Blue Colony Diner

Connecticut: Blue Colony Diner

66 Church Hill Rd.

Newtown, Conn.

What people say: In a state full of great diners, longtime favorite Blue Colony hits all the right notes. It's family-run, open 24 hours, and caters to all tastes with a massive menu, in-house bakery, and extensive selection of wine, beer, and cocktails. You can sit indoors, but there's outdoor seating, too. 

Where it's at: Scenic and historic Newtown is located just 60 miles from NYC. With a history that dates from the early 1700s, it features more than 10 notable entries on the National Register of Historic Places. The diner, with its art-deco architecture and music-filled parking lot, is a magnet for locals and travelers alike. 

What to order: The French toast, made with homemade challah bread, or one of the Greek specialties such as spanakopita or a gyro wrap. Take one of the enormous apple turnovers to go. 

Angelo’s Luncheonette
Patrick L./Yelp

Delaware: Angelo’s Luncheonette

1722 N Scott St.

Wilmington, Del.


What People Say: At this luncheonette dating back to 1967, you’ll feel like you’re enjoying a morning with the family. Sit down on one of the stools or booths and view the cooks working at the grill while you enjoy favorites like the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich or fluffy pancake selections.

Where it's at: Located just a couple of block's from Wilmington's Brandwine Park, diners can venture here for a post-meal stroll along the river. The family-friendly diner is also close to the Delaware Art Museum and the local zoo. 

What to Order: Well, how many places serve scrapple anyhow? That might be a good place to start.  

Ted's Bulletin
Andrea C./Yelp

District of Columbia: Ted's Bulletin

Multiple locations

Washington, D.C.

What people say: While you can get meals such as a peanut butter bacon burger at Ted's Bulletin, what people love most are well-made classics such as eggs Benedict — and they recommend the bacon highly.

Where it's at: With seven locations across the District of Columbia, most DC residents (and visitors) will be able to locate a Ted's Bulletin near them. The original is located on the bustling thoroughfare of 8th street in Capitol Hill, where it is surrounded by other restaurants, shops, and more.

What to order: French toast gets kudos, as do the shrimp and grits, but do yourself a favor and get the biscuits and gravy. 

Mrs. Mac's Kitchen Key Largo

Florida: Mrs. Mac's Kitchen

99336 Overseas Hwy.

Key Largo, Fla.

What people say: Stopping at this joint named after the founder’s mom — and still using some of her recipes — is like stepping back in time, diners say, except far fresher. If you bring in the fish you catch, you can be even more sure of it: The kitchen will cook it for you.

Where it's at: Key Largo, the most northern of Florida's keys, is about an hour's drive from Miami. It's a mecca for those who love beaches, sunshine, and ocean exploration — it is, after all, known as the Dive Capital of the World.   
What to order: It's easy to eat at Mrs. Mac's, since all the breakfast foods and most of the seafood is described in glowing terms. You also know to always end the meal with Key lime pie. (There's also a Key lime slush to try.) If you need to narrow down your meal choices, try the conch fritters and crabcakes.

The Silver Skillet in Atlanta, Georgia
Stephanie B./Yelp

Georgia: The Silver Skillet

200 14th St. NW

Atlanta, Ga.

What people say: Featured in movies, TV shows, and commercials, The Silver Skillet looks every bit the old-fashioned Southern diner. The menu of tried-and-true favorites matches the retro atmosphere at this Atlanta landmark, which has been operated by the same family since 1967.

Where it's at: Located just west of I-85, The Silver Skillet is in Atlanta's largely residential Home Park neighborhood. The diner is in close proximity to Georgia Tech and is about 15 minutes away from downtown Atlanta.  

What to order: Regulars love the country ham and red-eye gravy. Finish off with a slice of lemon icebox pie. 

Related: 50 Under-the-Radar Restaurants with Amazing Homemade Pie

Hawaiian Style Cafe in Waimea, Hawaii
Beverly B./Yelp

Hawaii: Hawaiian Style Cafe

65-1290 Kawaihae Rd.

Waimea, Hawaii

What people say: This is the spot for traditional Hawaiian favorites in family-sized portions at prices that aren't as inflated as other restaurants in this tourist hotbed. Travel and Leisure gave it a shout for "biggest pancake in the tropics."

Where it's at: Waimea is located on the north end of Hawaii's Big Island, about 35 miles inland from the ocean. The town is known for its cowboy culture, according to Hawaii Guide, but diners can also take in the area's dramatic weather changes from the restaurant's cozy interior. 
What to order: Loco moco, a classic Hawaiian mashup of white rice, egg, gravy, and a hamburger patty.

Jimmy's Down the Street
Mateo W./Yelp

Idaho: Jimmy's Down the Street

1613 Sherman Ave.

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

What people say: This is the place to go if you're craving from-scratch cooking in a family atmosphere. There may be a line to get in, but locals say it's worth the wait.
Where it's at: Coeur d'Alene is in northern Idaho, and it offers access to 55 nearby lakes and abundant outdoor recreation. After a big meal, head south to the town's eponymous lake for activities that include paddle boarding, kayaking, and more. 

What to order: Stop in for an Irish benedict, which is jalapeño cornbread topped with corned beef, eggs, and Hollandaise. The massive Southern pecan rolls are a meal by themselves.

Daley's Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois
Amy R./Yelp

Illinois: Daley's Restaurant

6257 S Cottage Grove Ave.

Chicago, Ill.

What people say: One of Chicago's best greasy spoons, according to Eater Chicago, Daley's serves old-school favorites such as patty melts, steer's liver, and roast turkey breast, plus a dizzying list of daily specials.
Where it's at: Daley's in in the Woodlawn neighborhood, one of Chicago's 77 distinct communities. It is just south of the popular Hyde Park neighborhood, which is home to many universities, colleges, and seminaries, as well as museums, historic sites, and two well-known outdoor destinations: Promontory Point and Jackson Park.

What to order: Reviewers recommend starting (or ending) your day with the can't-miss chicken and waffles.

Historic Steer-In in Indianapolis, Indiana
Nancy R./Yelp

Indiana: Steer-In

5130 E 10th St.

Indianapolis, Ind.

What people say: Diner favorites such as the Twin Steer burger, coleslaw, and coconut cream pie have been on the menu at the Steer-In, a modest time warp of a spot on Indy's east side, since the 1960s. Cozy up in a worn booth (the diner recently reopened to dine-in traffic) or head through the drive-thru. There's even online delivery.
Where it's at: Located in eastern Indianapolis, the Steer-In diner is a mere 15-20 minutes from downtown. The area is largely residential, but diners can check out the nearby Ellenberger Park, which offers a public pool, playground for kids, tennis courts, and more. 

What to order: The much-lauded Hoosier tenderloin sandwich: breaded or grilled fresh pork tenderloin with lettuce, tomato, and mayo on a bun.

The Fort Diner in Fort Madison, Iowa
Sue T./Yelp

Iowa: The Fort Diner

801 Ave. H

Fort Madison, Iowa

What people say: Blink and you might miss this tiny mom-and-pop diner, just a stone's throw from the Mississippi River in southeastern Iowa. Seating is limited, but reviewers say this modest spot is worth the stop. Bring cash; credit cards aren't on the menu, and consider getting it to go as the seating inside is limited. 

Where it's at: Fort Madison is just a few miles from the Iowa-Illinois border, and the diner itself is just a few hundred feet from the Mississippi River. Diners might want to visit Riverview Park post-meal, where they can check out the historic Old Fort Madison or take a stroll around the grounds.
What to order: The diner's specialty is the gut-busting Wallyburger, made with a pound of ground chuck, grilled mushrooms and onions, and American and Swiss cheese.

The Doo-Dah Diner in Wichita, Kansas
Chris P./Yelp

Kansas: The Doo-Dah Diner

206 E Kellogg St.

Wichita, Kan.

What people say: Though it's only been around since 2012, Doo-Dah Diner has the feel of a beloved local institution. The cheerful yellow dining room is the perfect spot for scratch-made comfort food, but call ahead for a reservation.

Where it's at: Wichita is a south-central Kansas city that offers a lot for locals and visitors alike. Check out Exploration Place for science and history exhibits, Old Cowtown Museum for 19th-century lore, or Botanica Wichita for gardens spread out over 17 acres. 
What to order: Breakfast is definitely the star here. Regulars love the banana bread French toast and the crabcake Benedict.

Pepper Pod Restaurant in Newport, Kentucky
Matt M./Yelp

Kentucky: Pepper Pod Restaurant

703 Monmouth St.

Newport, Ky.

What people say: Open 24 hours, the Pepper Pod has been feeding its regulars since 1956. You'll find wall-mounted jukeboxes in each of the booths. Smokers (and nonsmokers) take note: Smoking is still allowed everywhere inside.

Where it's at: Newport sits at the confluence of two rivers: the Licking and the Ohio. Today it's a smallish city with many regional attractions, but historically it was known as Kentucky Sin City due to its brothels, gambling halls, speakeasies, and more.  

What to order: Go for the biscuits and gravy, or eat like a local and get the goetta, an old-school German-American mashup of oats, pork and beef scraps, and spices.

Clover Grill in New Orleans, Louisiana
Robert R./Yelp

Louisiana: Clover Grill

900 Bourbon St.

New Orleans, La.

What people say: The Clover Grill is a Bourbon Street staple for greasy eats no matter the hour. It's open 24/7 for early birds and night owls alike. Just grab one of the red stools and watch the short-order cooks get down to business at this corner diner.

Where it's at: Sitting near the intersection of Bourbon and Dumaine Streets, Clover Grill is in the heart of the city's legendary French Quarter. 

What to order: Grab a burger, the self-proclaimed "world's best." Other favorites include the tater tots and grits.

Moody's Diner in Waldoboro, Maine
Chris L./Yelp

Maine: Moody's Diner

1885 Atlantic Hwy.

Waldoboro, Maine

What people say: This family-owned diner got its start in 1927, and you'll get the full New England diner experience by stopping in: "The wait staff is pure Yankee," one reviewer says. And if you want to stay, there are 18 guest cabins available.

Where it's at: Waldoboro is a farm and fishing community that's home to around 5,000 residents. Located on the coast of Lincoln County, it has a vibrant arts community. 

What to order: Live a little and start with a piece of pie just so you know you'll have room — it's that good, devotees say. Go for the 4-Berry, a mix of raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, and blueberry.

Marie's Diner in La Plata, Maryland
Samantha Y./Yelp

Maryland: Marie's Diner

6325 Crain Hwy.

La Plata, Md.

What people say: It's hard to beat unassuming Marie's for big portions of reliably good diner staples. Sometimes there's a wait during breakfast, but reviewers say it's worth sticking around. Order online to beat the line.

Where it's at: Situated about 5 miles north of the Potomac River, La Plata is a largely residential small town of about 10,000. It lies about 35 miles south of D.C., where many of its residents commute for work.

What to order: The pancakes, country-fried steak, and scrapple all get frequent mentions. Pick up some of the massive eclairs on your way out the door.

South Street Diner in Boston, Massachusetts
Jared G./Yelp

Massachusetts: South Street Diner

178 Kneeland St.

Boston, Mass.

What people say: Open 24/7, South Street Diner is the place for people of all walks of life to grab some comfort food. This classic chrome-clad corner diner has been feeding Boston since 1947. You can also order for delivery or takeout.

Where it's at: Diners can find South Street Diner in Boston's historic and attraction-packed downtown. It is in close proximity to the city's Chinatown and Boston Harbor as well as numerous theaters, museums, and shops. 

What to order: The Monte Cristo is the way to go for breakfast, according to Thrillist. The site also recommends the banana bread and grilled cinnamon rolls.

Roxy Café in Jackson, Michigan
Katherine M./Yelp

Michigan: Roxy Café

606 N W Ave.

Jackson, Mich.

What people say: From its snarky signs and slogans to the ceiling papered with advertisements for local businesses, Roxy Café is truly a local treasure. Go with a big appetite and a healthy sense of humor.

Where it's at: Jackson is named for the 7th U.S. president. It's also the birthplace of the Republican Party.  

What to order: Reviewers sing the praises of the corned beef hash, home fries, and the heaping three-egg omelets.

Uncle Franky's
Lauren N./Yelp

Minnesota: Uncle Franky's

728 Broadway St. NE

Minneapolis, Minn.

What people say: It may be a hole in the wall, but Uncle Franky's is no secret. City Pages named it among its best of 2020, and Thrillist called it one of the best hot dog joints in America. 

Where it's at: In Minneapolis' East St. Anthony neighborhood, Franky's is a short distance from the city's riverside Boom Island Park and the famed Stone Arch Bridge.

What to order: There are burgers at Uncle Franky's too, but with everything from a spicy Cajun brat (custom-made for Uncle) to a carrot dog on the menu and a three-dog sampler available, stick with a wiener. The Coney Island Chili Dog is loaded with spiced beef, Coney sauce, mustard, and raw onions, and the meat can be steamed, grilled, or deep-fried. 

Blue & White Restaurant in Tunica, Mississippi
Leslie S./Yelp

Mississippi: Blue & White Restaurant

1355 US-61

Tunica, Miss.

What people say: The aptly named Blue & White is indeed blue and white all over, from the exterior to the checked floor, chairs, and booths inside. It's been a local favorite since 1937 for homemade Southern favorites from black-eyed peas to catfish.

Where it's at: Tiny Tunica may not be the most well-known town in the Magnolia State, but it's popular with locals and visitors for its thriving gaming attractions. It's also home to the Gateway to the Blues Museum and Tunica RiverPark & Museum. 

What to order: Diners say the fried green tomatoes are reliably delicious. Other specialties include the fried chicken and fresh doughnuts.

Courtesy Diner
Zachary V./Yelp

Missouri: Courtesy Diner

1121 Hampton Av.

St. Louis, Mo.

What people say: This is old-school, greasy diner food — and customers, many who've been regulars for years, love it.

Where it's at: This iconic diner is located in Gateway City's historic Clayton-Tamm neighborhood. Diners who have a taste for adventure after their meal can head north to 1,300-acre Forest Park, which is home to the St. Louis Zoo as well as the city's Art Museum. 

What to order: Try a slinger, a breakfast concoction of meat (usually sausage), eggs, hash browns, chili, cheese, and onions.

Western Café in Bozeman, Montana
Mike B./Yelp

Montana: Western Café

443 E Main St.

Bozeman, Mont.

What people say: Billing itself as "the last best café," Western Café "was established before most folks around here were even born," according to its website. Don't be surprised to find this unpretentious little spot filled with locals who have been coming for years.

Where it's at: Whimsically nicknamed both Bozangeles and Bozone, this southern Montana city is home to Montana State University. Outdoor recreation abounds here, with opportunities to hike, mountain bike, rock climb, hunt, and more. 
What to order: Chow down on the chicken-fried steak, biscuits and gravy, or oversized cinnamon rolls.

Hi-Way Diner
Jeff K./Yelp

Nebraska: Hi-Way Diner

2105 Nebraska Pkwy.

Lincoln, Neb.

What people say: Day or night, the 35-year-old Hi-Way Diner will be open to feed you.

Where it's at: Located in the capital city of Lincoln, this diner is about 10 minutes south of the city's famed Memorial Stadium, home to the beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers. It's also a short jaunt from the historic Pioneer's Park and the Pinewood Bowl amphitheater. 

What to order: The Hot Stripper sandwich (yes, it's a sandwich), three chicken strips smothered with sausage gravy served open-faced on grilled Texas toast.

Mel's Diner in Beatty, Nevada
Jacklyn P./Yelp

Nevada: Mel's Diner

600 US-95

Beatty, Nev.

What people say: Mel's is the place you'll want to stop for a solid breakfast or lunch when you're heading to or from Death Valley. Bring your appetite for the large portions, and cash to pay the bill — no credit cards accepted.

Where it's at: Perched at the eastern edge of itty-bitty Beatty (pop. around 900), Mel's is certainly remote. But those who aren't local will find the trip worth it for town's quaint charm and its incredible view of Bare Mountain.  
What to order: Breakfast staples such as the pancakes and omelets are reliable bets.

Lindy's Diner in Keene, New Hampshire
Neal E./Yelp

New Hampshire: Lindy's Diner

19 Gilbo Ave.

Keene, NH

What people say: Local favorite Lindy's is always busy, especially during New Hampshire's presidential primaries. This diner has hosted candidates George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. Fortunately, most reviewers say the food lives up to the political hype.

Where it's at: Lindy's is located smack dab in the center of Keene, which is home to an impressive collection of Victorian architecture. It's also home to two colleges — Antioch University and Keene State College — so diners can expect to be sharing their dining space with some youthful energy.  

What to order: Lindy's says its famous patrons gravitate toward clam chowder, mac and cheese, and Salisbury steaks.

Tops Diner in East Newark, New Jersey
Nam H./Yelp

New Jersey: Tops Diner

500 Passaic Ave.

East Newark, N.J.

What people say: This diner gets the nod as one of America's best from Food and Wine magazine, which praises its "novel of a menu" and long list of cheesecakes. Portions are huge, devotees say.

Where it's at: Just off the Passaic River, Tops Diner is one of East Newark's most iconic dining establishments. Opened in 1942, the diner's Hudson County location puts it close to downtown Newark and just 11 miles from New York City.  
What to order: Before diving into the cheesecake, try a burger or the chicken and waffles.

Kap's Coffee Shop and Diner in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Patty L./Yelp

New Mexico: Kap's Coffee Shop and Diner

5801 Central Ave. NE #1701

Albuquerque, N.M.

What people say: Since 1968, unassuming Kap's has been a Route 66 staple for fresh, authentic diner fare at affordable prices. Regulars say the service is great, too.

Where it's at: Kap's has been open in the southeast quadrant of Albuquerque since 1968. It's located in the International District, just south of Uptown, the city's shopping hub.  

What to order: The menu includes plenty of New Mexican takes on breakfast staples such as huevos rancheros, carne adovada, and breakfast burritos. And don't miss the cinnamon rolls, reviewers say.

Murray Hill Diner
Emma P./Yelp

New York: Murray Hill Diner

222 Lexington Ave.

New York, N.Y.

What people say: For New Yorkers, Murray Hill Diner is a Midtown eatery where the owners are on the premises daily. Work or live nearby? Your food can be delivered to your door.

Where it's at: Located in the neighborhood of the same name — Murray Hill — the diner is just a few blocks from the Empire State Building. It's also just a short walk from iconic attractions like MoMA, The Met, and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. 
What to order: Try Greek favorites in addition to breakfast standards such as pancakes and eggs Benedict. Fans praise the large portions and perfectly grilled burgers.

Smith Street Diner in Greensboro, North Carolina
Megan V./Yelp

North Carolina: Carolina's Diner

506 S. Regional Rd

Greensboro, N.C.

What people say: Locals go to Carolina's Diner for the clean interior, fast service, and cheap, classic diner meals. The retro '50s look of the place is a nice bonus, but be prepared to wait for a table — since there isn't much of a waiting area, that might mean standing outside.

Where it's at: With four locations, the Regional Road Carolina's has the best reviews (they're solid for all locations, though). It's also a 10-minute drive from Piedmont Triad International Airport — which makes it a pretty solid destination for hungry deplaning travelers. 

What to order: The biscuits and gravy get raves, as does the country fried steak and eggs, which comes with toast, hash browns, and grits. The Route 66 plate, a skillet of corned beef hash with two eggs and country potatoes smothered in chipped beef gravy and cheese, is enough to feed two.

Deaner's Diner
Deaner's Diner/Yelp

North Dakota: Deaner's Diner

405 Main Ave. W

West Fargo, N.D.

What people say: TNT's Diner became Deaner's when it changed hands, but the new owners kept most of the longtime menu and preserved the diner décor. Regulars say the service is top-notch.

Where it's at: Forget the Fargo of the iconic film — this North Dakota city has a spirited downtown filled with great food, exciting entertainment options, and thriving culture. Deaner's patrons can head about 15 minutes east to explore downtown after a meal.  
What to order: Biscuits and gravy are great for breakfast, but the hot beef sandwiches are the star at other times of the day. Save room for homemade pie or apple crisp.

The Spot in Sidney, Ohio
Roth M./Yelp

Ohio: The Spot

201 S Ohio Ave.

Sidney, Ohio

What people say: The Spot has occupied the same spot in downtown Sidney since 1907, and the current structure has been standing since 1940. The decor is as much a feature as the food; the last renovation was in 1976. But ordering is definitely 21st century — download the diner's app to your phone and a good meal is never far away. 

Where it's at: A short drive from both Columbus and Cincinnati, Sidney is home to an impressive collection of historic architecture, as well as a parks and rec system that includes 14 neighborhood parks, multiple sports complexes, and the 180-acre Tawawa Park.

What to order: The homemade onion rings and pork tenderloin sandwiches are popular at lunch and dinner, but it's the pie that really keeps regulars coming back. The old-fashioned cream pie is a house specialty.

Clanton's Cafe in Vinita, Oklahoma
Chris B./Yelp

Oklahoma: Clanton's Cafe

319 E Illinois Ave.

Vinita, Okla.

What people say: Need a break from cruising historic Route 66? This is the place to stop. Despite its unassuming interior, it's been featured on Food Network, and patrons say the food is worthy of the attention.

Where it's at: Clanton's isn't the only historic destination in Vinita, a town of about 5,000. The town is also home to one of the longest running rodeos in the country, the Will Rogers Memorial Rodeo. Post-meal, patrons can explore the antique stores and shops of Vinita's scenic downtown.  

What to order: The chicken fried steak earns plenty of raves. If you're feeling more adventurous, try the calf fries, otherwise known as deep-fried bull testicles.

Nelscott Breakfast House
Todd L./Yelp

Oregon: Nelscott Breakfast House

3237 SE Hwy. 101

Lincoln City, Ore.

What people say: Tucked inside a charming shingled cottage, Nelscott Breakfast House is hard to find but worth the effort. Regulars rave about the fast and friendly service, delicious food, and exceptional cleanliness.

Where it's at: Just a few hundred feet from Lincoln City's Nelscott Beach (as well as miles of other nearby beaches), Nelscott is a popular culinary spot in this beloved Oregon tourist destination. It's also a short drive from other popular coastal towns like Neskowin and Depoe Bay. 

What to order: The Nelscott Breakfast, a mammoth plate filled with a breaded chicken breast, biscuits, gravy, egg, bacon, and sausage is so oversized it's best to share or risk a serious stomach ache.

The Dor-Stop Restaurant in Dormont, Pennsylvania
N O./Yelp

Pennsylvania: The Dor-Stop Restaurant

1430 Potomac Ave.

Pittsburgh, Pa.

What people say: This longtime mom-and-pop diner has been a mainstay for three decades in Steel City. Though it recently changed hands, the new owners have kept everything the same (much to regulars' relief).

Where it's at: The physical address says Pittsburgh, but this diner is more accurately located in Dormont, a tight-knit suburb. Diners looking for a little post-meal fun can head west to picturesque Dormont Park. If it's warm outside, go for a dip in the Dormont Pool, a beloved historic landmark built in 1920. 

What to order: Some devotees say the pumpkin hotcakes are so delicious plain that syrup is simply unnecessary. Another indulgent breakfast favorite: stuffed raspberry French toast.

The Middle of Nowhere Diner in Exeter, Rhode Island
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Rhode Island: The Middle of Nowhere Diner

222 Nooseneck Hill Rd.

Exeter, R.I.

What people say: It's not quite in the middle of nowhere; the diner is just a stone's throw from Interstate 95 in the southwest of tiny Rhode Island. In the summer, you can grab ice cream at the Next to Nowhere Creamery next door.

Where it's at: Exeter is a small and sleepy town, but it has a fascinating history involving a tuberculosis outbreak that was blamed on vampires. Harrowing past aside, the quaint 1742-founded town is worth a stop if you're in the area.  

What to order: Clam lovers, take note: The clam chowder and clam strips come highly recommended.

OJ's Diner in Greenville, South Carolina

South Carolina: OJ's Diner

907 Pendleton St.

Greenville, S.C.

What people say: The slogan here is "Just good food," and reviewers say that's exactly what you'll get at family-owned OJ's. The menu is packed with Southern favorites including fried okra, pork chops, and grits.

Where it's at: O.J.'s is just a hair outside of the West Greenville neighborhood, the oldest in the city and one that has been described as "old-world charm meets modern trendy style." After breakfast or lunch, walk across Vardry Street to experience this revitalized area of the city.  

What to order: The fried fish and cornbread have a lot of fans. Please your sweet tooth with a heaping serving of banana pudding or peach cobbler.

Rosie's Cafe in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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South Dakota: Rosie's Cafe

2202 W Madison St.

Sioux Falls, S.D.

What people say: Operated by the same family for more than three decades, Rosie's is the kind of hidden, homey little spot that regulars are reluctant to publicize because they want it to themselves.

Where it's at: Head to Sioux Falls' West Sioux neighborhood to get to Rosie's. After bellying up to the counter for a hearty meal, check out the city's most popular attraction, the 120-acre Falls Park.  

What to order: Lunch specials rotate, but have included down-to-earth favorites such as beef stew, liver and onions, and meatloaf. Breakfast is simple fare such as eggs and toast, hash browns, and biscuit and gravy.

Marcy Jo's Mealhouse and Bakery
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Tennessee: Marcy Jo's Mealhouse and Bakery

4205 US-431

Columbia, Tenn.

What people say: Crammed into a ramshackle-looking little house with a tin roof and modest porch, Marcy Jo's proves you can't judge a book by its cover. Inside, the country cooking is anything but shabby, and the décor is surprisingly quaint, with twinkling lights and tin signs lining the walls. Marcy Jo's is temporarily closed but scheduled to reopen March 19, according to Yelp.

Where it's at: History lovers will love Columbia, which is home to multiple iconic locations, including the home of President James K. Polk. If you're in town for springtime's Mule Day, Marcy Jo's is a welcome respite from the crowds and hubbub. 

What to order: Take your pick: Diners love the biscuits and gravy, fried bologna sandwiches, and catfish. And the cinnamon rolls are legendary.

Blue Bonnet Cafe in Marble Falls, Texas
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Texas: Blue Bonnet Cafe

211 US-281

Marble Falls, Texas

What people say: This classic Texas café opened in 1929 and moved to its current location in 1946. Drive by and you'll miss out on award-winning fare, including a much-lauded breakfast menu. 

Where it's at: Located in the Lone Star State's beautiful Hill Country, Marble Falls is but one of many destinations in this region. If you're grabbing a meal at the iconic Blue Bonnet, you might also consider checking out Gruene (pronounced "Green"), Fredericksburg, and Dripping Springs.

What to order: If you love pie, there's an entire happy hour devoted to it — stop in weekdays from 3 to 5 p.m. The lemon meringue inspires a lot of raves. Other favorites include pot roast and chicken fried steak. 

Angie's Restaurant in Logan, Utah
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Utah: Angie's Restaurant

690 Main St.

Logan, Utah

What people say: Angie's bills itself as the place "where the locals eat," and reviewers say that's true. If you're feeling adventurous, try the Kitchen Sink Challenge, a 3-pound ice-cream sundae. Finish the whole thing and you'll earn bragging rights and a bumper sticker.

Where it's at: Logan is in northern Utah, which is also home to Cache Valley, 85 miles north of Salt Lake City. Like much of Utah, this area is rife with opportunities to explore the outdoors. More into history? Check out Jensen Historical Farm at the American West Heritage Center. 

What to order: One of Angie's specialties is its scones; choose from traditional, cinnamon and sugar, or cheesecake. The chicken also comes highly recommended.

Handy's Lunch in Burlington, Vermont
Ashley H./Yelp

Vermont: Handy's Lunch

74 Maple St.

Burlington, Vt.

What people say: Open since 1945, family-run Handy's is a local landmark near the shores of Lake Champlain. It's a favorite for breakfast and lunch among locals who linger at the counter and chat up the cooks and the other regulars.

Where it's at: While Burlington isn't a big city, it is full of things to do before or after a meal. Check out the thriving arts and culture scene or hit the shops along Church Street Marketplace. If the outdoors is more your thing, Burlington's got plenty of that going on, too. 

What to order: The Big Daddy breakfast is popular for anyone who wakes up hungry: You'll get enough eggs, sausage, bacon, toast, and pancakes to skip lunch. The Super G breakfast sandwich also has plenty of fans.

Bob & Edith's Diner in Arlington, Virginia
Victoria L./Yelp

Virginia: Bob & Edith's Diner

2310 Columbia Pike

Arlington, Va.

What people say: This old-school diner is the open-24-hours antidote to the avalanche of hipster restaurants that abound in the D.C. area, devotees say. Order carryout or delivery for "everything you want for breakfast or lunch, and none of the fluff."

Where it's at: Just about everyone knows that Arlington is home to the Pentagon and the national cemetery of the same name. Beyond that, however, is a community offering near-endless opportunities for recreation, concluding 52 miles of trails, 148 parks, and numerous sports courts. There are also theaters, museums, and shopping areas, including the quaint Shirlington Village.  

What to order: Come in for the around-the-clock special: steak and eggs (choose from rib-eye, filet, or strip) served with home fries, grits or hash browns, and toast. Reviewers also say the milkshakes are to die for.

Joe Brown's Café
C Hayley H./Yelp

Washington: Joe Brown's Café

817 Main St.

Vancouver, Wash.

What people say: "We are still alive and kicking," proclaims Joe Brown's Café, which opened in 1932. Come in for the all-day breakfast and take in the classic diner style, with green vinyl booths and swiveling stools at the counter.

Where it's at: Vancouver's historic waterfront is less than a 15-minute walk from Joe Brown's. Head there after a meal to walk off some calories and explore its 7.3-acre park. Or you can check out one of the area's 45 breweries or eight wineries for something a little more toasty.
What to order: The Fried Thing, a breakfast sandwich made with fried ham, fried eggs, and melted cheddar on grilled sourdough. It comes with hash browns and a waffle, pancakes, or French toast.

Mary B's in Parkersburg, West Virginia
Melissa B./Yelp

West Virginia: Mary B's

2212 Pike St.

Parkersburg, W.Va.

What people say: Down-home comfort food is served in abundance at Mary B's. Whether you stop in for breakfast, lunch, or diner, the portions are generous – just take a gander at the massive dinner rolls.

Where it's at: Parkersburg offers plenty to do before or after a meal. Check out a piece of history at the nearby Blennerhassett Museum or tour the Victorian-era houses in the Julia-Ann Square Historic District. The area also offers outdoor activities such as kayaking, mountain biking, golfing, and more.  

What to order: Reviewers love the baked steak, which comes swimming in homemade gravy. Get the mashed potatoes for a side.

Frank's Diner in Kenosha, Wisconsin
Peter Q./Yelp

Wisconsin: Franks Diner

508 58th St.

Kenosha, Wis.

What people say: "Be nice or leave!" is the motto at this unpretentious spot, housed in a converted rail car. Reviewers say it can get crowded, but it's worth the wait.

Where it's at: It won't take you long to get from Franks to the shores of Lake Michigan — about 12 minutes if you walk. There you can explore all the waterfront has to offer, including Harbor Park, the Kenosha Civil War Museum, and Southport Marina. Or head to the popular Rustic Road Brewing Company for a locally crafted ale.  

What to order: The "garbage plate" of eggs mixed with hash browns, green peppers, and onions. It's served with a choice of meat or corned beef hash and cheese, as well as toast.

J's Prairie Café in Laramie, Wyoming
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Wyoming: J's Prairie Rose Café

410 S 2nd St.

Laramie, Wyo.

What people say: J's Prairie Rose Café says it's the place to go when you want "good food fast." Reviewers agree, saying this busy, family-owned joint is the perfect mix of tasty food, good service, and low prices.

Where it's at: You can't miss the bubbly pink exterior of Prairie Rose. If you're not incredibly full after you leave there (a big if), head to nearby Coal Creek Coffee for a jolt of caffeine or The Sugar Mouse Cupcake House for baked goods. A vibrant college town, Laramie offers plenty in the way of nightlife, culture, and outdoor recreation, too.  

What to order: The breakfast burrito, served with a heaping amount of shredded cheese and homemade green chili sauce, is a thing of beauty. The cinnamon rolls are also beloved.